Dang – they got me againAugust 22, 2009
3 more bee stings. I am re-thinking my hypothesis that the bees were antsy about the change in the weather last week. The bees from the same hive stung me today. When a hive is having queen trouble they get ornery – so it is possible that this is the problem – – their queen may not be living up to expectations. I need to get back on the horse that threw me and see what is going on inside that hive (hmm, antsy, horse, enough animal metaphors?) – – but the next time I will bring the smoker and wear gloves. I really don’t like wearing the gloves, I feel very clumsy in them, but obviously this hive, at least at the moment, is too ornery to deal with without them.
A friend, who also keeps bees, recommended putting toothpaste on the stings. For her it took away the sting and she didn’t have any swelling. I’m trying it this time, and so far the stings with toothpaste on them are not as swollen. I have a sting on the side of my middle finger, right hand – and most of that toothpaste was worn off by hanging and taking down laundry – that sting is also the most swollen. Or, it is possible that there is a 4th sting on that hand, I really kind of lost track when it was all happening. My son was helping me though – and he’s smarter than his mother and wore gloves. He put the hive back together by himself because whenever I got near it the bees would start harassing me again – they could smell the sting pheromone left by their sister – another reason that a smoker is helpful, it masks that pheromone. Live and learn.
In other news – down by the hives I found a monarch caterpillar on a milkweed plant, but more impressive (and easier to keep track of) there are 9 monarch caterpillars on the butterfly weed in our flower garden! I hope they stay and make their chrysalises on the plant. I’ll let you know!